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Warren Kimble finds new partner

American folk artist Warren Kimble has found a new partner to market a fresh line of flags, doormats and home decorative accessories adorned with his artwork.

New Creative Enterprises (NCE), based here, will replace Toland in sourcing and distributing the product line as of late February, said Linda Balogh, president of Courtney Davis, Kimble's licensing agent.

"We were looking for a partner with a broader product mix and a larger distribution," Balogh explained. "Toland focuses more on the gift industry. NCE works with the major key accounts, and [Kimble] is popular now with those same key accounts."

For the past seven years, Toland, Manderville, LA, was Kimble's licensing partner for flags, doormats and decorative accessories for the home.

"[Kimble] cancelled his contract with Toland," Balogh said.

"Warren Kimble has become a legend within the artistic and home decor communities," said Mark Schoenwald, president, NCE. "We are delighted that Mr. Kimble has joined the NCE team. Our already-strong lineup of artists just got stronger. He has a broad base of appeal, both domestically and internationally, and has well established programs at retail outlets."

NCE will produce heat-sublimated flags and doormats, the latter in two varieties — indoor comfort mats and indoor/outdoor rubber-back rugs. The collections will be labeled under NCE's Impressions brand, and the launch — set for March 1 — will feature eight Kimble designs, said Linda Martin, director of product development for NCE. Shipping will begin in late March.

Other Kimble designs will be added on a continual basis, she said. A collection of applique flags is set to roll out later next year for Christmas 2002, she added.

Price points are set at $20 for flags and doormats.

Kimble's existing collection of home goods spans various categories, as does its list of licensees, which includes bath and bedding products by Fort Mill, SC-based Springs Industries; embellished towels by Moonachie, NJ-based Avanti Linens; table linens and kitchen textiles by New York-based Elrene Home Fashions; floor mats by Greensboro, NC-based The Bacova Guild; and tapestry throws, table runners and wall hangings by Hendersonville, NC-based The Manual Woodworkers & Weavers.

"Warren Kimble has become very popular, and we continue to look for more ways to grow our product assortment and distribution." Balogh said.

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